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1.  Intravascular Ultrasound to Guide Percutaneous Coronary Interventions 
Executive Summary
Objective
The objective of this health technology policy assessment was to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of using intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) as an adjunctive imaging tool to coronary angiography for guiding percutaneous coronary interventions.
Background
Intravascular Ultrasound
Intravascular ultrasound is a procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to acquire 3-dimensional images from the lumen of a blood vessel. The equipment for performing IVUS consists of a percutaneous transducer catheter and a console for reconstructing images. IVUS has been used to study the structure of the arterial wall and nature of atherosclerotic plaques, and obtain measurements of the vessel lumen. Its role in guiding stent placement is also being investigated. IVUS is presently not an insured health service in Ontario.
Clinical Need
Coronary artery disease accounts for approximately 55% of cardiovascular deaths, the leading cause of death in Canada. In Ontario, the annual mortality rate due to ischemic heart disease was 141.8 per 100,000 population between 1995 and 1997. Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), a less invasive approach to treating coronary artery disease, is used more frequently than coronary bypass surgery in Ontario. The number of percutaneous coronary intervention procedures funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care is expected to increase from approximately 17, 780 in 2004/2005 to 22,355 in 2006/2007 (an increase of 26%), with about 95% requiring the placement of one or more stents. Restenosis following percutaneous coronary interventions involving bare metal stents occurs in 15% to 30% of the cases, mainly because of smooth muscle proliferation and migration, and production of extracellular matrix. In-stent restenosis has been linked to suboptimal stent expansion and inadequate lesion coverage, while stent thrombosis has been attributed to incomplete stent-to-vessel wall apposition. Since coronary angiography (the imaging tool used to guide stent placement) has been shown to be inaccurate in assessing optimal stent placement, and IVUS can provide better views of the vessel lumen, the clinical utility of IVUS as an imaging tool adjunctive to coronary angiography in coronary intervention procedures has been explored in clinical studies.
Method
A systematic review was conducted to answer the following questions:
What are the procedure-related complications associated with IVUS?
Does IVUS used in conjunction with angiography to guide percutaneous interventions improve patient outcomes compared to angiographic guidance without IVUS?
Who would benefit most in terms of clinical outcomes from the use of IVUS adjunctive to coronary angiography in guiding PCIs?
What is the effectiveness of IVUS guidance in the context of drug-eluting stents?
What is the cost-effectiveness ratio and budget impact of adjunctive IVUS in PCIs in Ontario?
A systematic search of databases OVID MEDLINE, EMBASE, MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, The Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) database for the period beginning in May 2001 until the day of the search, November 4, 2005 yielded 2 systematic reviews, 1 meta-analysis, 6 randomized controlled trials, and 2 non-randomized studies on left main coronary arteries. The quality of the studies ranged from moderate to high. These reports were combined with reports from a previous systematic review for analysis. In addition to qualitative synthesis, pooled analyses of data from randomized controlled studies using a random effect model in the Cochrane Review Manager 4.2 software were conducted when possible.
Findings of Literature Review & Analysis
Safety
Intravascular ultrasound appears to be a safe tool when used in coronary interventions. Periprocedural complications associated with the use of IVUS in coronary interventions ranged from 0.5% in the largest study to 4%. Coronary rupture was reported in 1 study (1/54). Other complications included prolonged spasms of the artery after stenting, dissection, and femoral aneurysm.
Effectiveness
Based on pooled analyses of data from randomized controlled studies, the use of intravascular ultrasound adjunctive to coronary intervention in percutaneous coronary interventions using bare metal stents yielded the following findings:
For lesions predominantly at low risk of restenosis:
There were no significant differences in preintervention angiographic minimal lumen diameter between the IVUS-guided and angiography-guided groups.
IVUS guidance resulted in a significantly larger mean postintervention angiographic minimal lumen diameter (weighted mean difference of 0.11 mm, P = .0003) compared to angiographic guidance alone.
The benefit in angiographic minimal lumen diameter from IVUS guidance was not maintained at 6-month follow-up, when no significant difference in angiographic minimal lumen diameter could be detected between the two arms (weighted mean difference 0.08, P = .13).
There were no statistically significant differences in angiographic binary restenosis rates between IVUS-guidance and no IVUS guidance (Odds ratio [OR] 0.87 in favour of IVUS, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] [0.64–1.18], P = 0.37).
IVUS guidance resulted in a reduction in the odds of target lesion revascularization (repeat percutaneous coronary intervention or coronary bypass graft) compared to angiographic guidance alone. The reduction was statistically significant at a follow-up period of 6 months to 1 year, and at a follow-up period of 18 month to 2 years (OR 0.52 in favour of IVUS, 95% CI [0.33–0.81], P = .004).
Total revascularization rate (either target lesion or target vessel revascularization) was significantly lower for IVUS-guided patients at 18 months to 2.5 years after intervention (OR 0.43 in favour of IVUS, 95% CI [0.29–0.63], p < .0001).
There were no statistically significant differences in the odds of death (OR 1.36 in favour of no IVUS, P =0.65) or myocardial infarction (OR 0.95 in favour of IVUS, P = 0.93) between IVUS-guidance and angiographic guidance alone at up to 2.5 years of follow-up
The odds of having a major cardiac event (defined as death, myocardial infarction, and target lesion or target vessel revascularization) were significantly lower for patients with IVUS guidance compared to angiographic guidance alone during follow-up periods of up to 2.5 years (OR 0.53, 95% CI [0.36–0.78], P = 0.001). Since there were no significant reductions in the odds of death or myocardial infarction, the reduction in the odds of combined events reflected mainly the reduction in revascularization rates.
For lesions at High Risk of Restenosis:
There is evidence from one small, randomized controlled trial (n=150) that IVUS-guided percutaneous coronary intervention in long de novo lesions (>20 mm) of native coronary arteries resulted in statistically significant larger minimal lumen Diameter, and statistically significant lower 6-month angiographic binary restenosis rate. Target vessel revascularization rate and the rate of combined events were also significantly reduced at 12 months.
A small subgroup analysis of a randomized controlled trial reported no benefit in clinical or angiographic outcomes for IVUS-guided percutaneous coronary interventions in patients with diabetes compared to those guided by angiography. However, due to the nature and size of the analysis, no firm conclusions could be reached.
Based on 2 small, prospective, non-randomized controlled studies, IVUS guidance in percutaneous coronary interventions of left main coronary lesions using bare metal stents or drug-eluting stents did not result in any benefits in angiographic or clinical outcomes. These findings need to be confirmed.
Interventions Using Drug-Eluting Stents
There is presently no evidence on whether the addition of IVUS guidance during the implantation of drug-eluting stents would reduce incomplete stent apposition, or improve the angiographic or clinical outcomes of patients.
Ontario-Based Economic Analysis
Cost-effectiveness analysis showed that PCIs using IVUS guidance would likely be less costly and more effective than PCIs without IVUS guidance. The upfront cost of adjunctive use of IVUS in PCIs ranged from $1.56 million at 6% uptake to $13.04 million at 50% uptake. Taking into consideration cost avoidance from reduction in revascularization associated with the use of IVUS, a net saving of $0.63 million to $5.2 million is expected. However, since it is uncertain whether the reduction in revascularization rate resulting from the use of IVUS can be generalized to clinical settings in Ontario, further analysis on the budget impact and cost-effectiveness need to be conducted once Ontario-specific revascularization rates are verified.
Factors to be Considered in the Ontario Context
Applicability of Findings to Ontario
The interim analysis of an Ontario field evaluation that compared drug-eluting stents to bare metal stents showed that the revascularization rates in low-risk patients with bare metal stents were much lower in Ontario compared to rates reported in randomized controlled trials (7.2% vs >17 %). Even though IVUS is presently not routinely used in the stenting of low-risk patients in Ontario, the revascularization rates in these patients in Ontario were shown to be lower than those reported for the IVUS groups reported in published studies. Based on this information and previous findings from the Ontario field evaluation on stenting, it is uncertain whether the reduction in revascularization rates from IVUS guidance can be generalized to Ontario. In light of the above findings, it is advisable to validate the reported benefits of IVUS guidance in percutaneous coronary interventions involving bare metal stents in the Ontario context.
Licensing Status
As of January 16, 2006, Health Canada has licensed 10 intravascular ultrasound imaging systems/catheters for transluminal intervention procedures, most as class 4 medical devices.
Current Funding
IVUS is presently not an insured procedure under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan and there are no professional fees for this procedure. All costs related to the use of IVUS are covered within hospitals’ global budgets. A single use IVUS catheter costs approximately $900CDN and the procedure adds approximately 20 minutes to 30 minutes to a percutaneous coronary intervention procedure.
Diffusion
According to an expert consultant, current use of IVUS in coronary interventions in Ontario is probably limited to high-risk cases such as interventions in long lesions, small vessels, and bifurcated lesions for which images from coronary angiography are indeterminate. It was estimated that IVUS is being used in about 6% of all percutaneous coronary interventions at a large Ontario cardiac centre.
Expert Opinion
IVUS greatly enhances the cardiac interventionists’ ability to visualize and assess high-risk lesions such as long lesions, narrow lesions, and bifurcated lesions that may have indeterminate angiographic images. Information from IVUS in these cases facilitates the choice of the most appropriate approach for the intervention.
Conclusion
The use of adjunctive IVUS in PCIs using bare metal stents in lesions predominantly at low risk for restenosis had no significant impact on survival, myocardial infarction, or angiographic restenosis rates up to 2.5 years after intervention.
The use of IVUS adjunctive to coronary angiography in percutaneous coronary interventions using bare metal stents in lesions predominantly at low risk for restenosis significantly reduced the target lesion and target vessel revascularization at a follow-up period of 18 months to 2.5 years.
One small study suggests that adjunctive IVUS in PCIs using bare metal stents in long lesions (>20 mm) significantly improved the 6-month angiographic restenosis rate and one-year target lesion revascularization rate. These results need to be confirmed with large randomized controlled trials.
Based on information from the Ontario field evaluation on stenting, it is uncertain whether the reduction in revascularization rate resulting from the use of IVUS in the placement of bare metal stents can be generalized to clinical settings in Ontario.
There is presently insufficient evidence available to determine the impact of adjunctive IVUS in percutaneous interventions in high-risk lesions (other than long lesions) or in PCIs using drug-eluting stents.
PMCID: PMC3379536  PMID: 23074482
2.  Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease 
Executive Summary
In July 2009, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding different cardiac imaging modalities to ensure that appropriate technologies are accessed by patients suspected of having CAD. This project came about when the Health Services Branch at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care asked MAS to provide an evidentiary platform on effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of non-invasive cardiac imaging modalities.
After an initial review of the strategy and consultation with experts, MAS identified five key non-invasive cardiac imaging technologies for the diagnosis of CAD. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these five imaging modalities: cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, single photon emission computed tomography, 64-slice computed tomographic angiography, stress echocardiography, and stress echocardiography with contrast. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed (where appropriate). A summary decision analytic model was then developed to encapsulate the data from each of these reports (available on the OHTAC and MAS website).
The Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: www.health.gov.on.ca/mas or at www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html
Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Stress Echocardiography for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Stress Echocardiography with Contrast for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
64-Slice Computed Tomographic Angiography for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pease note that two related evidence-based analyses of non-invasive cardiac imaging technologies for the assessment of myocardial viability are also available on the MAS website:
Positron Emission Tomography for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Magnetic Resonance Imaging for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability: an Evidence-Based Analysis
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative has also produced an associated economic report entitled:
The Relative Cost-effectiveness of Five Non-invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for Diagnosing Coronary Artery Disease in Ontario [Internet]. Available from: http://theta.utoronto.ca/reports/?id=7
Objective
The objective of this analysis was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the diagnosis of patients with known/suspected coronary artery disease (CAD) compared to coronary angiography.
Cardiac MRI
Stress cardiac MRI is a non-invasive, x-ray free imaging technique that takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes to complete and can be performed using to two different methods, a) perfusion imaging following a first pass of an intravenous bolus of gadolinium contrast, or b) wall motion imaging. Stress is induced pharmacologically with either dobutamine, dipyridamole, or adenosine, as physical exercise is difficult to perform within the magnet bore and often induces motion artifacts. Alternatives to stress cardiac perfusion MRI include stress single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and stress echocardiography (ECHO). The advantage of cardiac MRI is that it does not pose the radiation burden associated with SPECT. During the same sitting, cardiac MRI can also assess left and right ventricular dimensions, viability, and cardiac mass. It may also mitigate the need for invasive diagnostic coronary angiography in patients with intermediate risk factors for CAD.
Evidence-Based Analysis
Literature Search
A literature search was performed on October 9, 2009 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 2005 to October 9, 2008. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist and then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established. The quality of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low or very low according to GRADE methodology.
Given the large amount of clinical heterogeneity of the articles meeting the inclusion criteria, as well as suggestions from an Expert Advisory Panel Meeting held on October 5, 2009, the inclusion criteria were revised to examine the effectiveness of cardiac MRI for the detection of CAD.
Heath technology assessments, systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, observational studies
≥20 adult patients enrolled.
Published 2004-2009
Licensed by Health Canada
For diagnosis of CAD:
Reference standard is coronary angiography
Significant CAD defined as ≥ 50% coronary stenosis
Patients with suspected or known CAD
Reported results by patient, not segment
Non-English studies
Grey literature
Planar imaging
MUGA
Patients with recent MI (i.e., within 1 month)
Patients with non-ischemic heart disease
Studies done exclusively in special populations (e.g., women, diabetics)
Outcomes of Interest
Sensitivity and specificity
Area under the curve (AUC)
Diagnostic odds ratio (DOR)
Summary of Findings
Stress cardiac MRI using perfusion analysis yielded a pooled sensitivity of 0.91 (95% CI: 0.89 to 0.92) and specificity of 0.79 (95% CI: 0.76 to 0.82) for the detection of CAD.
Stress cardiac MRI using wall motion analysis yielded a pooled sensitivity of 0.81 (95% CI: 0.77 to 0.84) and specificity of 0.85 (95% CI: 0.81 to 0.89) for the detection of CAD.
Based on DORs, there was no significant difference between pooled stress cardiac MRI using perfusion analysis and pooled stress cardiac MRI using wall motion analysis (P=0.26) for the detection of CAD.
Pooled subgroup analysis of stress cardiac MRI using perfusion analysis showed no significant difference in the DORs between 1.5T and 3T MRI (P=0.72) for the detection of CAD.
One study (N=60) was identified that examined stress cardiac MRI using wall motion analysis with a 3T MRI. The sensitivity and specificity of 3T MRI were 0.64 (95% CI: 0.44 to 0.81) and 1.00 (95% CI: 0.89 to 1.00), respectively, for the detection of CAD.
The effectiveness of stress cardiac MRI for the detection of CAD in unstable patients with acute coronary syndrome was reported in only one study (N=35). Using perfusion analysis, the sensitivity and specificity were 0.72 (95% CI: 0.53 to 0.87) and 1.00 (95% CI: 0.54 to 1.00), respectively, for the detection of CAD.
Ontario Health System Impact Analysis
According to an expert consultant, in Ontario:
Stress first pass perfusion is currently performed in small numbers in London (London Health Sciences Centre) and Toronto (University Health Network at the Toronto General Hospital site and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre).
Stress wall motion is only performed as part of research protocols and not very often.
Cardiac MRI machines use 1.5T almost exclusively, with 3T used in research for first pass perfusion.
On November 25 2009, the Cardiac Imaging Expert Advisory Panel met and made the following comments about stress cardiac MRI for perfusion analysis:
Accessibility to cardiac MRI is limited and generally used to assess structural abnormalities. Most MRIs in Ontario are already in 24–hour, constant use and it would thus be difficult to add cardiac MRI for CAD diagnosis as an additional indication.
The performance of cardiac MRI for the diagnosis of CAD can be technically challenging.
GRADE Quality of Evidence for Cardiac MRI in the Diagnosis of CAD
The quality of the body of evidence was assessed according to the GRADE Working Group criteria for diagnostic tests. For perfusion analysis, the overall quality was determined to be low and for wall motion analysis the overall quality was very low.
PMCID: PMC3377522  PMID: 23074389
3.  Unrecognized Non-Q-Wave Myocardial Infarction: Prevalence and Prognostic Significance in Patients with Suspected Coronary Disease 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(4):e1000057.
Using delayed-enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance, Han Kim and colleagues show that in patients with suspected coronary disease the prevalence of unrecognized myocardial infarction without Q-waves is more than 3-fold higher than that with Q-waves and predicts subsequent mortality.
Background
Unrecognized myocardial infarction (UMI) is known to constitute a substantial portion of potentially lethal coronary heart disease. However, the diagnosis of UMI is based on the appearance of incidental Q-waves on 12-lead electrocardiography. Thus, the syndrome of non-Q-wave UMI has not been investigated. Delayed-enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DE-CMR) can identify MI, even when small, subendocardial, or without associated Q-waves. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and prognosis associated with non-Q-wave UMI identified by DE-CMR.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a prospective study of 185 patients with suspected coronary disease and without history of clinical myocardial infarction who were scheduled for invasive coronary angiography. Q-wave UMI was determined by electrocardiography (Minnesota Code). Non-Q-wave UMI was identified by DE-CMR in the absence of electrocardiographic Q-waves. Patients were followed to determine the prognostic significance of non-Q-wave UMI. The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality. The prevalence of non-Q-wave UMI was 27% (50/185), compared with 8% (15/185) for Q-wave UMI. Patients with non-Q-wave UMI were older, were more likely to have diabetes, and had higher Framingham risk than those without MI, but were similar to those with Q-wave UMI. Infarct size in non-Q-wave UMI was modest (8%±7% of left ventricular mass), and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) by cine-CMR was usually preserved (52%±18%). The prevalence of non-Q-wave UMI increased with the extent and severity of coronary disease on angiography (p<0.0001 for both). Over 2.2 y (interquartile range 1.8–2.7), 16 deaths occurred: 13 in non-Q-wave UMI patients (26%), one in Q-wave UMI (7%), and two in patients without MI (2%). Multivariable analysis including New York Heart Association class and LVEF demonstrated that non-Q-wave UMI was an independent predictor of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 11.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.5–51.1) and cardiac mortality (HR 17.4, 95% CI 2.2–137.4).
Conclusions
In patients with suspected coronary disease, the prevalence of non-Q-wave UMI is more than 3-fold higher than Q-wave UMI. The presence of non-Q-wave UMI predicts subsequent mortality, and is incremental to LVEF.
Trial Registration
Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00493168
Editors' Summary
Background
Coronary artery disease (CAD; also called coronary heart disease) is the leading cause of death among adults in developed countries. In the USA alone, it kills nearly half a million people every year. CAD is caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen and nutrients. With age, fatty deposits (atherosclerotic plaques) coat the walls of these arteries and restrict the heart's blood supply, which causes the characteristic symptoms of CAD—angina (chest pains that are usually relieved by rest) and shortness of breath. In addition, if a plaque breaks off the wall of a coronary artery, it can completely block that artery and kill part of the heart, which causes a potentially fatal heart attack (doctors call this a myocardial infarction or MI). Heart attacks are often characterized by long-lasting chest pain that is not relieved by rest. Risk factors for CAD include smoking, high blood pressure, high blood levels of cholesterol (a type of fat), and being overweight. Treatments for the condition include lifestyle changes (for example, losing weight), and medications that lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol. The narrowed arteries can also be widened using a device called a stent or surgically bypassed.
Why Was This Study Done?
Not everyone who has a heart attack has chest pain. In fact, some studies suggest that 40–60% of MIs have no obvious symptoms. It is important, however, that these “unrecognized” MIs (UMIs) are diagnosed because they have death rates similar to those of MIs with clinical symptoms and need to be treated in a similar way. Traditionally, UMIs have been diagnosed using an electrocardiogram (ECG). When the heart beats, it generates small electric waves that can be picked up by electrodes attached to the skin. The pattern of these waves (the ECG) provides information about the heart's health. Alterations in the ECG, leading to so-called Q-waves, indicate that a UMI has occurred some time previously. However, not all UMIs result in Q-waves. In this study, the researchers use a recently developed technique—delayed enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DE-CMR), which can detect heart damage even in patients whose Q-waves are absent—to measure the prevalence (the fraction of a population that has a disorder) of non-Q-wave UMI. The researchers also investigate whether non-Q-wave UMI increases the risk of death.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used electrocardiography and DE-CMR to look for Q-wave and non-Q-wave UMI, respectively, in 185 patients with suspected CAD but no history of MI. They then followed the patients for 2 years to discover whether a diagnosis of non-Q-wave UMI predicted their likelihood of dying from any cause or from a heart problem. 27% of the patients had evidence of non-Q-wave UMI whereas only 8% had evidence of Q-wave UMI. Patients with non-Q-wave UMI tended to have only a small area of heart damage and, consistent with this limited damage, their hearts pumped near-normal volumes of blood. Examination of the patients' arteries with a technique called coronary angiography indicated that the patients with widespread and/or severe CAD had a higher prevalence of non-Q-wave UMI than those with limited CAD. Finally, patients with non-Q-wave UMI had an 11-fold higher risk of death from any cause and a 17-fold higher risk of death from a heart problem than patients without UMI.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that non-Q-wave UMI occurs more than 3-times as often in patients with suspected CAD than Q-wave UMI and that patients with non-Q-wave UMI have a much greater risk of dying than patients without MI. Thus, if all cases of UMI—both Q-wave and non-Q-wave UMI—could be identified, it might be possible to reduce the number of deaths among people with CAD. However, before any recommendations are made to include DE-CMR in the routine examination of people with suspected CAD to achieve this aim, additional studies must be undertaken to confirm that non-Q-wave UMI is a common feature of CAD and to test whether the early diagnosis of non-Q-wave UMI does extend the life expectancy of people with CAD.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000057.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Clara Chow
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on coronary heart disease, heart attacks, and electrocardiograms (in English and Spanish). MedlinePlus also provides links to further information on all aspects of heart disease (in English and Spanish)
Information is available from the US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute on coronary heart disease
The UK National Health Service Choices website also provides information about coronary heart disease (in several languages).
The Nobel Foundation provides an interactive electrocardiogram game
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000057
PMCID: PMC2661255  PMID: 19381280
4.  Evaluating the Quality of Research into a Single Prognostic Biomarker: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of 83 Studies of C-Reactive Protein in Stable Coronary Artery Disease 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(6):e1000286.
In a systematic review and meta-analysis of 83 prognostic studies of C-reactive protein in coronary disease, Hemingway and colleagues find substantial biases, preventing them from drawing clear conclusions relating to the use of this marker in clinical practice.
Background
Systematic evaluations of the quality of research on a single prognostic biomarker are rare. We sought to evaluate the quality of prognostic research evidence for the association of C-reactive protein (CRP) with fatal and nonfatal events among patients with stable coronary disease.
Methods and Findings
We searched MEDLINE (1966 to 2009) and EMBASE (1980 to 2009) and selected prospective studies of patients with stable coronary disease, reporting a relative risk for the association of CRP with death and nonfatal cardiovascular events. We included 83 studies, reporting 61,684 patients and 6,485 outcome events. No study reported a prespecified statistical analysis protocol; only two studies reported the time elapsed (in months or years) between initial presentation of symptomatic coronary disease and inclusion in the study. Studies reported a median of seven items (of 17) from the REMARK reporting guidelines, with no evidence of change over time.
The pooled relative risk for the top versus bottom third of CRP distribution was 1.97 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.78–2.17), with substantial heterogeneity (I2 = 79.5). Only 13 studies adjusted for conventional risk factors (age, sex, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol) and these had a relative risk of 1.65 (95% CI 1.39–1.96), I2 = 33.7. Studies reported ten different ways of comparing CRP values, with weaker relative risks for those based on continuous measures. Adjusting for publication bias (for which there was strong evidence, Egger's p<0.001) using a validated method reduced the relative risk to 1.19 (95% CI 1.13–1.25). Only two studies reported a measure of discrimination (c-statistic). In 20 studies the detection rate for subsequent events could be calculated and was 31% for a 10% false positive rate, and the calculated pooled c-statistic was 0.61 (0.57–0.66).
Conclusion
Multiple types of reporting bias, and publication bias, make the magnitude of any independent association between CRP and prognosis among patients with stable coronary disease sufficiently uncertain that no clinical practice recommendations can be made. Publication of prespecified statistical analytic protocols and prospective registration of studies, among other measures, might help improve the quality of prognostic biomarker research.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death among adults in developed countries. With age, fatty deposits called atherosclerotic plaques coat the walls of the arteries, the vessels that carry blood to the body's organs. Because they narrow the arteries, atherosclerotic plaques restrict blood flow. If plaques form in the arteries that feed the heart, the result is coronary artery disease, the symptoms of which include shortness of breath and chest pains (angina). If these symptoms only occur during exertion, the condition is called stable coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease can cause potentially fatal heart attacks (myocardial infarctions). A heart attack occurs when a plaque ruptures and a blood clot completely blocks the artery, thereby killing part of the heart. Smoking, high blood pressure, high blood levels of cholesterol (a type of fat), diabetes, and being overweight are risk factors for coronary artery disease. Treatments for the condition include lifestyle changes and medications that lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol. Narrowed arteries can also be widened using a device called a stent or surgically bypassed.
Why Was This Study Done?
Clinicians can predict whether a patient with coronary artery disease is likely to have a heart attack by considering their risk factors. They then use this “prognosis” to help them manage the patient. To provide further help for clinicians, researchers are trying to identify prognostic biomarkers (molecules whose blood levels indicate how a disease might develop) for coronary artery disease. However, before a biomarker can be used clinically, it must be properly validated and there are concerns that there is insufficient high quality evidence to validate many biomarkers. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, the researchers ask whether the evidence for an association between blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP, an inflammatory protein) and subsequent fatal and nonfatal events affecting the heart and circulation (cardiovascular events) among patients with stable coronary artery disease supports the routine measurement of CRP as recommended in clinical practice guidelines. A systematic review uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic; a meta-analysis is a statistical method for combining the results of several studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 83 studies that investigated the association between CRP levels measured in people with coronary artery disease and subsequent cardiovascular events. Their examination of these studies revealed numerous reporting and publication short-comings. For example, none of the studies reported a prespecified statistical analysis protocol, yet analyses should be prespecified to avoid the choice of analytical method biasing the study's results. Furthermore, on average, the studies only reported seven of the 17 recommended items in the REMARK reporting guidelines, which were designed to improve the reporting quality of tumor biomarker prognostic studies. The meta-analysis revealed that patients with a CRP level in the top third of the distribution were nearly twice as likely to have a cardiovascular event as patients with a CRP in the bottom third of the distribution (a relative risk of 1.97). However, the outcomes varied considerably between studies (heterogeneity) and there was strong evidence for publication bias—most published studies were small and smaller studies were more likely to report higher relative risks. Adjustment for publication bias reduced the relative risk associated with high CRP levels to 1.19. Finally, nearly all the studies failed to calculate whether CRP measurements discriminated between patients likely and unlikely to have a subsequent cardiovascular event.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that, because of multiple types of reporting and publication bias, the size of the association between CRP levels and prognosis among patients with stable coronary artery disease is extremely uncertain. They also suggest that CRP measurements are unlikely to add anything to the prognostic discrimination achieved by considering blood pressure and other standard clinical factors among this patient group. Thus, the researchers suggest, the recommendation that CRP measurements should be used in the management of patients with stable coronary artery disease ought to be removed from clinical practice guidelines. More generally, these findings increase concerns about the quality of research into prognostic biomarkers and highlight areas that need to be changed, the most fundamental of which is the need to preregister studies on prognostic biomarkers and their analytic protocols.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000286.
The MedlinePlus Encyclopedia has pages on coronary artery disease and C-reactive protein (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to other sources of information on heart disease
The American Heart Association provides information for patients and caregivers on all aspects of cardiovascular disease, including information on the role of C-reactive protein in heart disease
Information is available from the British Heart Foundation on heart disease and keeping the heart healthy
Wikipedia has pages on biomarkers and on C-reactive protein (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The EQUATOR network is a resource center for good reporting of health research studies
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000286
PMCID: PMC2879408  PMID: 20532236
5.  Framingham cardiovascular risk in patients with obesity and periodontitis 
Background:
Obesity is a chronic inflammatory condition that has been associated to a risk factor for the development of periodontitis and cardiovascular disease; however, the relationship still needs to be clarified. The objective of this study was to evaluate the cardiovascular risk in obese patients with chronic periodontitis.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 87 obese patients were evaluated for anthropometric data (body mass index [BMI], waist circumference, body fat), systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), triglycerides, glycemia and periodontal parameters (visible plaque index (VPI), gingival bleeding index (GBI), bleeding on probing (BOP), periodontal probing depth (PPD) and clinical attachment level (CAL)).
Results:
Patients were divided into two groups according to the periodontal characteristics found: Group O-PD: Obese patients with chronic periodontitis (n = 45), 22 men and 23 women; and Group O-sPD: Obese patients without chronic periodontitis (n = 42), 17 men and 25 women. Patients had a BMI mean of 35.2 (±5.1) kg/m2 . Group O-PD showed a similarity between the genders regarding age, SBP, DBP, cholesterol, HDL, GBI, VPI, PPD ≥4 mm and CAL ≥4 mm. O-PD women showed greater glycemia level and smoking occurrence, but O-PD men presented a 13% - risk over of developing coronary artery disease in 10 years than O-PD women, 9% - risk over than O-sPD men and 15% - risk over than O-sPD women, by the Framingham Score.
Conclusions:
It was concluded that obesity and periodontal disease are cardiovascular risk factors and that the two associated inflammatory conditions potentially increases the risk for heart diseases.
doi:10.4103/0972-124X.128193
PMCID: PMC3988634  PMID: 24744538
Cardiovascular disease; obesity; periodontal disease
6.  Implication of plasma intermedin levels in patients who underwent first-time diagnostic coronary angiography: a single centre, cross-sectional study 
Background
Intermedin (IMD) is involved in the prevention of atherosclerotic plaque progression, possessing cardioprotective effects from hypertrophy, fibrosis and ischemia-reperfusion injury. Elevated plasma IMD levels have been demonstrated in patients with acute coronary syndromes. No human study has examined the role of IMD in stable patients who underwent diagnostic coronary angiography with suspicion of coronary artery disease (CAD). Thus we investigated the role of IMD as a biomarker to discriminate patients with CAD and predict those with severe disease who require early and intensive therapeutic intervention before presenting with acute coronary syndrome.
Methods
Eligible two hundred and thirty-eight consecutive patients (123 males, mean age 58.4 ± 10.0 years) who underwent first-time diagnostic coronary angiography were included in this study. Plasma concentrations of IMD were measured from arterial blood samples by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Patients were divided into three groups according to the presence and degree of CAD, consisting of 48 patients with normal coronary anatomy (Group 1), 111 patients with < 50% coronary stenosis (Group 2), and 79 patients with ≥ 50% stenosis in at least one of the major coronary arteries (group 3). The severity and extent of CAD was evaluated by calculations of the vessel, Gensini, and SYNTAX scores.
Results
Circulating plasma IMD levels in patients with CAD were significantly higher than those in patients without CAD (157.7 ± 9.6, 134.8 ± 11.9, and 117.6 ± 7.9 pg/mL in groups 3, 2 and 1 respectively; p < 0.001). Besides, plasma IMD levels were correlated with Gensini and SYNTAX scores (rs = 0.742, and rs = 0.296, respectively; p < 0.05). The presence of ≥50% coronary artery stenosis could be predicted if a cut-off value of 147.7 pg/mL for plasma IMD was used with 88.6% sensitivity and 88.7% specificity. Moreover, a plasma IMD level of <126.6 pg/mL could discriminate a patient with normal coronary arteries from patients with angiographically proven CAD with a sensitivity and specificity of 84.7%, and 83.3% respectively.
Conclusions
We demonstrated that IMD might be used as a biomarker to predict CAD and its severity in patients who underwent first time diagnostic coronary angiography.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-14-182
PMCID: PMC4271361  PMID: 25495100
Intermedin; Coronary artery disease; Diagnostic coronary angiography
7.  Burden of Hospital Admission and Repeat Angiography in Angina Pectoris Patients with and without Coronary Artery Disease: A Registry-Based Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93170.
Aims
To evaluate risk of hospitalization due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and repeat coronary angiography (CAG) in stable angina pectoris (SAP) with no obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) versus obstructive CAD, and asymptomatic reference individuals.
Methods and Results
We followed 11,223 patients with no prior CVD having a first-time CAG in 1998–2009 due to SAP symptoms and 5,695 asymptomatic reference individuals from the Copenhagen City Heart Study through registry linkage for 7.8 years (median). In recurrent event survival analysis, patients with SAP had 3–4-fold higher risk of hospitalization for CVD irrespective of CAG findings and cardiovascular comorbidity. Multivariable adjusted hazard ratios(95%CI) for patients with angiographically normal coronary arteries was 3.0(2.5–3.5), for angiographically diffuse non-obstructive CAD 3.9(3.3–4.6) and for 1–3-vessel disease 3.6–4.1(range)(all P<0.001). Mean accumulated hospitalization time was 3.5(3.0–4.0)(days/10 years follow-up) in reference individuals and 4.5(3.8–5.2)/7.0(5.4–8.6)/6.7(5.2–8.1)/6.1(5.2–7.4)/8.6(6.6–10.7) in patients with angiographically normal coronary arteries/angiographically diffuse non-obstructive CAD/1-, 2-, and 3-vessel disease, respectively (all P<0.05, age-adjusted). SAP symptoms predicted repeat CAG with multivariable adjusted hazard ratios for patients with angiographically normal coronary arteries being 2.3(1.9–2.9), for angiographically diffuse non-obstructive CAD 5.5(4.4–6.8) and for obstructive CAD 6.6–9.4(range)(all P<0.001).
Conclusions
Patients with SAP symptoms and angiographically normal coronary arteries or angiographically diffuse non-obstructive CAD suffer from considerably greater CVD burdens in terms of hospitalization for CVD and repeat CAG compared with asymptomatic reference individuals even after adjustment for cardiac risk factors and exclusion of cardiovascular comorbidity as cause. Contrary to common perception, excluding obstructive CAD by CAG in such patients does not ensure a benign cardiovascular prognosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093170
PMCID: PMC3976412  PMID: 24705387
8.  Serum protein profiles predict coronary artery disease in symptomatic patients referred for coronary angiography 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:157.
Background
More than a million diagnostic cardiac catheterizations are performed annually in the US for evaluation of coronary artery anatomy and the presence of atherosclerosis. Nearly half of these patients have no significant coronary lesions or do not require mechanical or surgical revascularization. Consequently, the ability to rule out clinically significant coronary artery disease (CAD) using low cost, low risk tests of serum biomarkers in even a small percentage of patients with normal coronary arteries could be highly beneficial.
Methods
Serum from 359 symptomatic subjects referred for catheterization was interrogated for proteins involved in atherogenesis, atherosclerosis, and plaque vulnerability. Coronary angiography classified 150 patients without flow-limiting CAD who did not require percutaneous intervention (PCI) while 209 required coronary revascularization (stents, angioplasty, or coronary artery bypass graft surgery). Continuous variables were compared across the two patient groups for each analyte including calculation of false discovery rate (FDR ≤ 1%) and Q value (P value for statistical significance adjusted to ≤ 0.01).
Results
Significant differences were detected in circulating proteins from patients requiring revascularization including increased apolipoprotein B100 (APO-B100), C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), myeloperoxidase (MPO), resistin, osteopontin, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-10 and N-terminal fragment protein precursor brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pBNP) and decreased apolipoprotein A1 (APO-A1). Biomarker classification signatures comprising up to 5 analytes were identified using a tunable scoring function trained against 239 samples and validated with 120 additional samples. A total of 14 overlapping signatures classified patients without significant coronary disease (38% to 59% specificity) while maintaining 95% sensitivity for patients requiring revascularization. Osteopontin (14 times) and resistin (10 times) were most frequently represented among these diagnostic signatures. The most efficacious protein signature in validation studies comprised osteopontin (OPN), resistin, matrix metalloproteinase 7 (MMP7) and interferon γ (IFNγ) as a four-marker panel while the addition of either CRP or adiponectin (ACRP-30) yielded comparable results in five protein signatures.
Conclusions
Proteins in the serum of CAD patients predominantly reflected (1) a positive acute phase, inflammatory response and (2) alterations in lipid metabolism, transport, peroxidation and accumulation. There were surprisingly few indicators of growth factor activation or extracellular matrix remodeling in the serum of CAD patients except for elevated OPN. These data suggest that many symptomatic patients without significant CAD could be identified by a targeted multiplex serum protein test without cardiac catheterization thereby eliminating exposure to ionizing radiation and decreasing the economic burden of angiographic testing for these patients.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-157
PMCID: PMC3566965  PMID: 23216991
atherosclerosis; biomarkers; cardiac catheterization; coronary angiography; coronary stenosis; multiplex proteomics
9.  Assessment of the effect of periodontal treatment in patients with coronary artery disease : A pilot survey 
Background:
Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory condition believed to cause a low but long lasting systemic inflammatory reaction which in turn contributes to the development of atherosclerosis. Recent data suggests that around 40% cases of coronary artery disease remain unaccounted despite the identification of the classical risk factors.
Objectives:
To evaluate the efficacy of non surgical periodontal therapy on the levels of serum inflammatory markers in subjects with chronic periodontitis and known coronary artery disease.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty subjects with known coronary artery disease (CAD) were recruited from the Department of Cardiology, CSM Medical University, Lucknow, India, for this study. Periodontal disease was measured through the clinical parameters bleeding on probing (BOP) and probing depth (PD). All subjects received non surgical periodontal therapy that included oral hygiene instructions and meticulous scaling and root planing. Systemic levels of inflammatory markers such as high-sensitivity C reactive proteins (hsCRP), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and white blood cell (WBC) counts were measured prior to and 1 month after periodontal therapy.
Results:
Subjects experienced significant reductions in bleeding on probing (BOP) and probing depth (PD), indicating improvement in overall periodontal health. In all subjects, high-sensitivity C reactive proteins (hsCRP), and WBC counts were reduced significantly,; however, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) levels showed no statistically significant reduction.
Conclusion:
In this study, periodontal treatment resulted in a significant decrease in bleeding on probing (BOP) and probing depth (PD), and this treatment lowered the serum inflammatory markers (hsCRP and WBC counts) in patients with coronary artery disease. This may result in a decreased risk for coronary artery disease in the periodontally treated patients.
doi:10.4103/0975-3583.95366
PMCID: PMC3354455  PMID: 22629030
Coronary artery disease; high-sensitivity C-reactive protein; periodontitis; tumor necrosis factor-α
10.  Epicardial Adipose Tissue Thickness Correlates with the Presence and Severity of Angiographic Coronary Artery Disease in Stable Patients with Chest Pain 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110005.
Objective
Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) is suggested to correlate with metabolic risk factors and to promote plaque development in the coronary arteries. We sought to determine whether EAT thickness was associated or not with the presence and extent of angiographic coronary artery disease (CAD).
Methods
We measured epicardial fat thickness by computed tomography and assessed the presence and extent of CAD by coronary angiography in participants from the prospective EVASCAN study. The association of EAT thickness with cardiovascular risk factors, coronary artery calcification scoring and angiographic CAD was assessed using multivariate regression analysis.
Results
Of 970 patients (age 60.9 years, 71% male), 75% (n = 731) had CAD. Patients with angiographic CAD had thicker EAT on the left ventricle lateral wall when compared with patients without CAD (2.74±2.4 mm vs. 2.08±2.1 mm; p = 0.0001). The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for a patient with a LVLW EAT value ≥2.8 mm to have CAD was OR = 1.46 [1.03–2.08], p = 0.0326 after adjusting for risk factors. EAT also correlated with the number of diseased vessels (p = 0.0001 for trend). By receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, an EAT value ≥2.8 mm best predicted the presence of>50% diameter coronary artery stenosis, with a sensitivity and specificity of 46.1% and 66.5% respectively (AUC:0.58). Coronary artery calcium scoring had an AUC of 0.76.
Conclusion
Although left ventricle lateral wall EAT thickness correlated with the presence and extent of angiographic CAD, it has a low performance for the diagnosis of CAD.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110005
PMCID: PMC4204866  PMID: 25335187
11.  Stress Echocardiography for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease 
Executive Summary
In July 2009, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding different cardiac imaging modalities to ensure that appropriate technologies are accessed by patients suspected of having CAD. This project came about when the Health Services Branch at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care asked MAS to provide an evidentiary platform on effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of non-invasive cardiac imaging modalities.
After an initial review of the strategy and consultation with experts, MAS identified five key non-invasive cardiac imaging technologies for the diagnosis of CAD. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these five imaging modalities: cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, single photon emission computed tomography, 64-slice computed tomographic angiography, stress echocardiography, and stress echocardiography with contrast. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed (where appropriate). A summary decision analytic model was then developed to encapsulate the data from each of these reports (available on the OHTAC and MAS website).
The Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: www.health.gov.on.ca/mas"> www.health.gov.on.ca/mas or at www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html
Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Stress Echocardiography for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Stress Echocardiography with Contrast for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
64-Slice Computed Tomographic Angiography for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pease note that two related evidence-based analyses of non-invasive cardiac imaging technologies for the assessment of myocardial viability are also available on the MAS website:
Positron Emission Tomography for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Magnetic Resonance Imaging for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability: an Evidence-Based Analysis
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative has also produced an associated economic report entitled:
The Relative Cost-effectiveness of Five Non-invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for Diagnosing Coronary Artery Disease in Ontario [Internet]. Available from: http://theta.utoronto.ca/reports/?id=7
Objective
The objective of the analysis is to determine the diagnostic accuracy of stress echocardiography (ECHO) in the diagnosis of patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD) compared to coronary angiography (CA).
Stress Echocardiography
Stress ECHO is a non-invasive technology that images the heart using ultrasound. It is one of the most commonly employed imaging techniques for investigating a variety of cardiac abnormalities in both community and hospital settings. A complete ECHO exam includes M-mode, 2-dimensional (2-D) images and Doppler imaging.
In order to diagnosis CAD and assess whether myocardial ischemia is present, images obtained at rest are compared to those obtained during or immediately after stress. The most commonly used agents used to induce stress are exercise and pharmacological agents such as dobutamine and dipyridamole. The hallmark of stress-induced myocardial ischemia is worsening of wall motion abnormalities or the development of new wall motion abnormalities. A major challenge for stress ECHO is that the interpretation of wall motion contractility and function is subjective. This leads to inter-observer variability and reduced reproducibility. Further, it is estimated that approximately 30% of patients have sub-optimal stress ECHO exams. To overcome this limitation, contrast agents for LV opacification have been developed.
Although stress ECHO is a relatively easy to use technology that poses only a low risk of adverse events compared to other imaging technologies, it may potentially be overused and/or misused in CAD diagnosis. Several recent advances have been made focusing on quantitative methods for assessment, improved image quality and enhanced portability, however, evidence on the effectiveness and clinical utility of these enhancements is limited.
Evidence-Based Analysis
Research Questions
What is the diagnostic accuracy of stress ECHO for the diagnosis of patients with suspected CAD compared to the reference standard of CA?
What is the clinical utility1 of stress ECHO?
Literature Search
A literature search was performed on August 28, 2009 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 2004 until August 21, 2009. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any relevant studies not identified through the search.
Inclusion Criteria
Systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, prospective observational studies, retrospective analyses
Minimum sample size of 20 enrolled patients
Comparison to CA (reference standard)
Definition of CAD specified as either ≥50%, ≥70% or ≥75% coronary artery stenosis on CA
Reporting accuracy data on individual patients (rather than accuracy data stratified by segments of the heart)
English
Human
Exclusion Criteria
Duplicate studies
Non-systematic reviews, case reports
Grey literature (e.g., conference abstracts)
Insufficient data for independent calculation of sensitivity and specificity
Use of ECHO for purposes other than diagnosis of CAD (e.g., arrhythmia, valvular disease, mitral stenosis, pre-operative risk of MI)
Transesophageal ECHO since its primary use is for non-CAD indications such as endocarditis, intracardiac thrombi, valvular disorders
Only resting ECHO performed
Outcomes of Interest
Accuracy outcomes (sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value)
Costs
Summary of Findings
Given the vast amount of published literature on stress ECHO, it was decided to focus on the studies contained in the comprehensive 2007 review by Heijenbrok-Kal et al. (1) as a basis for the MAS evidence-based analysis. In applying our inclusion and exclusion criteria, 105 observational studies containing information on 13,035 patients were included. Six studies examined stress ECHO with adenosine, 26 with dipyridamole and 77 with dobutamine, the latter being the most commonly used pharmacological stress ECHO agent in Ontario. A further 18 studies employed exercise as the stressor.2 The prevalence of CAD ranged from 19% to 94% with a mean estimated prevalence of 70%. Based on the results of these studies the following conclusions were made:
Based on the available evidence, stress ECHO is a useful imaging modality for the diagnosis of CAD in patients with suspected disease. The overall pooled sensitivity is 0.80 (95% CI: 0.77 – 0.82) and the pooled specificity is 0.84 (95% CI: 0.82 – 0.87) using CA as the reference standard. The AUC derived from the sROC curve is 0.895 and the DOR is 20.64.
For pharmacological stress, the pooled sensitivity is 0.79 (95% CI: 0.71 – 0.87) and the pooled specificity is 0.85 (95% CI: 0.83 – 0.88). When exercise is employed as the stress agent, the pooled sensitivity is 0.81 (95% CI: 0.76– 0.86) and the pooled specificity is 0.79 (95% CI: 0.71 – 0.87). Although pharmacological stress and exercise stress would be indicated for different patient populations based on ability to exercise there were no significant differences in sensitivity and specificity.
Based on clinical experts, diagnostic accuracy on stress ECHO depends on the patient population, the expertise of the interpreter and the quality of the image.
PMCID: PMC3377563  PMID: 23074412
12.  Impact of Prediabetic Status on Coronary Atherosclerosis 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(3):729-733.
OBJECTIVE
To determine if prediabetes is associated with atherosclerosis of coronary arteries, we evaluated the degree of coronary atherosclerosis in nondiabetic, prediabetic, and diabetic patients by using coronary angioscopy to identify plaque vulnerability based on yellow color intensity.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Sixty-seven patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) underwent angioscopic observation of multiple main-trunk coronary arteries. According to the American Diabetes Association guidelines, patients were divided into nondiabetic (n = 16), prediabetic (n = 28), and diabetic (n = 23) groups. Plaque color grade was defined as 1 (light yellow), 2 (yellow), or 3 (intense yellow) based on angioscopic findings. The number of yellow plaques (NYPs) per vessel and maximum yellow grade (MYG) were compared among the groups.
RESULTS
Mean NYP and MYG differed significantly between the groups (P = 0.01 and P = 0.047, respectively). These indexes were higher in prediabetic than in nondiabetic patients (P = 0.02 and P = 0.04, respectively), but similar in prediabetic and diabetic patients (P = 0.44 and P = 0.21, respectively). Diabetes and prediabetes were independent predictors of multiple yellow plaques (NYPs ≥2) in multivariate logistic regression analysis (odds ratio [OR] 10.8 [95% CI 2.09–55.6], P = 0.005; and OR 4.13 [95% CI 1.01–17.0], P = 0.049, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS
Coronary atherosclerosis and plaque vulnerability were more advanced in prediabetic than in nondiabetic patients and comparable between prediabetic and diabetic patients. Slight or mild disorders in glucose metabolism, such as prediabetes, could be a risk factor for CAD, as is diabetes itself.
doi:10.2337/dc12-1635
PMCID: PMC3579367  PMID: 23223344
13.  Subclinical coronary atherosclerosis identified by coronary computed tomographic angiography in asymptomatic morbidly obese patients 
Heart International  2010;5(2):e15.
Obesity is a common public health problem and obese individuals in particular have a disproportionate incidence of acute coronary events. This study was undertaken to identify coronary artery lesions as well as associated clinical features, risk factors and demographics in patients with a body mass index (BMI) >40 kg/m2 without known coronary artery disease (CAD). Morbidly obese subjects were prospectively recruited to undergo coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) using a dual-source computed tomography (CT) system. CAD was defined as the presence of any atherosclerotic lesion in any one coronary artery segment. The presence, location, and severity of atherosclerosis were related to patient characteristics. Forty-one patients (28 women, mean age, 50.4±10.0 years, mean BMI, 43.8±4.8 kg/m2) served as the study population. Of these, 25 patients (61%) had at least one coronary stenosis. All but 2 patients within the CAD cohort had coronary artery calcium (CAC) scores >0, and most plaques identified (75.4%) were non-calcified. There was a predilection of calcified and non-calcified atherosclerosis involving the left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery compared with other coronary segments. Univariate predictors of CAD included older age, dyslipidemia, and diabetes. In this preliminary study of young morbidly obese patients, CCTA detected a high prevalence of calcified and non-calcified CAD, although the later predominated.
doi:10.4081/hi.2010.e15
PMCID: PMC3184688  PMID: 21977300
computed tomography; morbid obesity; risk factors; atherosclerosis.
14.  64-Slice Computed Tomographic Angiography for the Diagnosis of Intermediate Risk Coronary Artery Disease 
Executive Summary
In July 2009, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding different cardiac imaging modalities to ensure that appropriate technologies are accessed by patients suspected of having CAD. This project came about when the Health Services Branch at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care asked MAS to provide an evidentiary platform on effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of non-invasive cardiac imaging modalities.
After an initial review of the strategy and consultation with experts, MAS identified five key non-invasive cardiac imaging technologies for the diagnosis of CAD. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these five imaging modalities: cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, single photon emission computed tomography, 64-slice computed tomographic angiography, stress echocardiography, and stress echocardiography with contrast. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed (where appropriate). A summary decision analytic model was then developed to encapsulate the data from each of these reports (available on the OHTAC and MAS website).
The Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: www.health.gov.on.ca/mas or at www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html
Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Stress Echocardiography for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Stress Echocardiography with Contrast for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
64-Slice Computed Tomographic Angiography for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging for the Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pease note that two related evidence-based analyses of non-invasive cardiac imaging technologies for the assessment of myocardial viability are also available on the MAS website:
Positron Emission Tomography for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Magnetic Resonance Imaging for the Assessment of Myocardial Viability: an Evidence-Based Analysis
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative has also produced an associated economic report entitled:
The Relative Cost-effectiveness of Five Non-invasive Cardiac Imaging Technologies for Diagnosing Coronary Artery Disease in Ontario [Internet]. Available from: http://theta.utoronto.ca/reports/?id=7
Objective
The objective of this report is to determine the accuracy of computed tomographic angiography (CTA) compared to the more invasive option of coronary angiography (CA) in the detection of coronary artery disease (CAD) in stable (non-emergent) symptomatic patients.
CT Angiography
CTA is a cardiac imaging test that assesses the presence or absence, as well as the extent, of coronary artery stenosis for the diagnosis of CAD. As such, it is a test of cardiac structure and anatomy, in contrast to the other cardiac imaging modalities that assess cardiac function. It is, however, unclear as to whether cardiac structural features alone, in the absence cardiac function information, are sufficient to determine the presence or absence of intermediate pretest risk of CAD.
CTA technology is changing rapidly with increasing scan speeds and anticipated reductions in radiation exposure. Initial scanners based on 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 slice machines have been available since the end of 2004. Although 320-slice machines are now available, these are not widely diffused and the existing published evidence is specific to 64-slice scanners. In general, CTA allows for 3-dimensional (3D) viewing of the coronary arteries derived from software algorithms of 2-dimensional (2D) images.
The advantage of CTA over CA, the gold standard for the diagnosis of CAD, is that it is relatively less invasive and may serve as a test in determining which patients are best suited for a CA. CA requires insertion of a catheter through an artery in the arm or leg up to the area being studied, yet both tests involve contrast agents and radiation exposure. Therefore, the identification of patients for whom CTA or CA is more appropriate may help to avoid more invasive tests, treatment delays, and unnecessary radiation exposure. The main advantage of CA, however, is that treatment can be administered in the same session as the test procedure and as such, it’s recommended for patients with a pre-test probability of CAD of ≥80%. The progression to the more invasive CA allows for the diagnosis and treatment in one session without the added radiation exposure from a previous CTA.
The visibility of arteries in CTA images is best in populations with a disease prevalence, or pre-test probabilities of CAD, of 40% to 80%, beyond which patients are considered at high pre-test probability. Visibility decreases with increasing prevalence as arteries become increasingly calcified (coronary artery calcification is based on the Agaston score). Such higher risk patients are not candidates for the less invasive diagnostic procedures and should proceed directly to CA, where treatment can be administered in conjunction with the test itself, while bypassing the radiation exposure from CTA.
CTA requires the addition of an ionated contrast, which can be administered only in patients with sufficient renal function (creatinine levels >30 micromoles/litre) to allow for the clearing of the contrast from the body. In some cases, the contrast is administered in patients with creatinine levels less than 30 micromoles/litre.
A second important criterion for the administration of the CTA is patient heart rate, which should be less than 65 beats/min for the single source CTA machines and less than 80 beats/min for the dual source machines. To decrease heart rates to these levels, beta-blockers are often required. Although the accuracy of these two machines does not differ, the dual source machines can be utilized in a higher proportion of patients than the single source machines for patients with heart beats of up to 80 beats/min. Approximately 10% of patients are considered ineligible for CTA because of this inability to decrease heart rates to the required levels. Additional contra-indications include renal insufficiency as described above and atrial fibrillation, with approximately 10% of intermediate risk patients ineligible for CTA due these contraindications. The duration of the procedure may be between 1 and 1.5 hours, with about 15 minutes for the CTA and the remaining time for the preparation of the patient.
CTA is licensed by Health Canada as a Class III device. Currently, two companies have licenses for 64-slice CT scanners, Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation (License 67604) and Philips Medical Systems (License 67599 and 73260).
Research Questions
How does the accuracy of CTA compare to the more invasive CA in the diagnosis of CAD in symptomatic patients at intermediate risk of the disease?
How does the accuracy for CTA compare to other modalities in the detection of CAD?
Research Methods
Literature Search
A literature search was performed on July 20, 2009 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 2004 until July 20, 2009. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any relevant studies not identified through the search. The quality of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low or very low according to GRADE methodology.
Inclusion Criteria
English language articles and English or French-language HTAs published from January 1, 2004 to July 20, 2009.
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), non-randomized clinical trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
Studies of symptomatic patients at intermediate pre-test probability of CAD.
Studies of single source CTA compared to CA for the diagnosis of CAD.
Studies in which sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value (NPV) and positive predictive value (PPV) could be established. HTAs, SRs, clinical trials, observational studies.
Exclusion Criteria
Non-English studies.
Pediatric populations.
Studies of patients at low or high pre-test probability of CAD.
Studies of unstable patients, e.g., emergency room visits, or a prior diagnosis of CAD.
Studies in patients with non-ischemic heart disease.
Studies in which outcomes were not specific to those of interest in this report.
Studies in which CTA was not compared to CA in a stable population.
Outcomes of Interest)
CAD defined as ≥50% stenosis.
Comparator
Coronary angiography.
Measures of Interest
Sensitivity, specificity;
Negative predictive value (NPV), positive predictive value (PPV);
Area under the curve (AUC) and diagnostic odds ratios (DOR).
Results of Literature Search and Evidence-Based Analysis
The literature search yielded two HTAs, the first published by MAS in April 2005, the other from the Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre published in 2008, as well as three recent non-randomized clinical studies. The three most significant studies concerning the accuracy of CTA versus CA are the CORE-64 study, the ACCURACY trial, and a prospective, multicenter, multivendor study conducted in the Netherlands. Five additional non-randomized studies were extracted from the Belgian Health Technology Assessment (2008).
To provide summary estimates of sensitivity, specificity, area under the SROC curve (AUC) and diagnostic odds rations (DORs), a meta-analysis of the above-mentioned studies was conducted. Pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity were 97.7% (95%CI: 95.5% - 99.9%) and 78.8% (95%CI: 70.8% - 86.8%), respectively. These results indicate that the sensitivity of CTA is almost as good as CA, while its specificity is poorer. The diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) was estimated at 157.0 (95%CI: 11.2 - 302.7) and the AUC was found to be 0.94; however, the inability to provide confidence estimates for this estimate decreased its utility as an adequate outcome measure in this review.
This meta-analysis was limited by the significant heterogeneity between studies for both the pooled sensitivity and specificity (heterogeneity Chi-square p=0.000). To minimize these statistical concerns, the analysis was restricted to studies of intermediate risk patients with no previous history of cardiac events. Nevertheless, the underlying prevalence of CAD ranged from 24.8% to 78% between studies, indicating that there was still some variability in the pre-test probabilities of disease within this stable population. The variation in the prevalence of CAD, accompanied with differences in the proportion of calcification, likely affected the specificity directly and the sensitivity indirectly across studies.
In February 2010, the results of the Ontario Multi-detector Computed Tomography Coronary Angiography Study (OMCAS) became available and were thus included in a second meta-analysis of the above studies. The OMCAS was a non-randomized double-blind study conducted in 3 centers in Ontario that was conducted as a result of a MAS review from 2005 requesting an evaluation of the accuracy of 64-slice CTA for CAD detection. Within 10 days of their scheduled CA, all patients received an additional evaluation with CTA. Included in the meta-analysis with the above-mentioned studies are 117 symptomatic patients with intermediate probability of CAD (10% - 90% probability), resulting in a pooled sensitivity of 96.1% (95%CI: 94.0%-98.3%) and pooled specificity of 81.5% (95%CI: 73.0% - 89.9%).
Summary of Findings
CTA is almost as good as CA in detecting true positives but poorer in the rate of false positives. The main value of CTA may be in ruling out significant CAD.
Increased prevalence of CAD decreases study specificity, whereas specificity is increased in the presence of increased arterial calcification even in lower prevalence studies.
Positive CT angiograms may require additional tests such as stress tests or the more invasive CA, partly to identify false positives.
Radiation exposure is an important safety concern that needs to be considered, particularly the cumulative exposures from repeat CTAs.
PMCID: PMC3377576  PMID: 23074388
15.  Clinical indicators of periodontal disease in patients with coronary heart disease: A 10 years longitudinal study 
Objectives: There is evidence about a possible relationship existing between periodontal diseases and coronary heart disease. The aim of the present longitudinal study was to investigate the changes in periodontal evolution after etiological periodontal treatment, comparing a healthy control group with another having coronary heart disease. Study Design: The study included initially 55 patients of which 44 finished it. They were placed into two groups: Healthy Control Group (HCG) n =9, and Coronary Heart Disease Group (CHDG) n=35. The gingival level (GL), probing depth (PD), clinical attachment level (CAL), plaque index (PI) and bleeding on probing (BOP) were measured to compare the periodontal status in both groups. The patients were examined and etiological periodontal treatment was performed and they were then examined at the end of 1 and 10 years. Statistical method: A one way-ANOVA and a MR-ANOVA were established; significance p<0.05. Results: No significant differences between both groups were detected on the first visit (p>0.5). However, at the second visit the CHDG presented a significantly higher PD (p<0.05) and PI (p<0.01). CHDG patients gradually increase PD through time and in comparison to the control group (p<0.041). CHDG patients present a significantly higher CAL loss (p<0.0385) and a significant increase in PI (p<0.0041) at the end of one year, while on the third visit no significant differences were detected in any of these indices. Likewise, a similar fact can be observed on evaluating BOP at the end of ten years causal treatment, a smaller decrease in the cardiac group was observed in regards to the initial values (p<0.001). Conclusion: Patients with coronary heart disease showed a worse evolution of periodontal indices than healthy ones, when referring to probing depth, plaque index and bleeding on probing index.
Key words:Attachment loss, coronary heart disease, periodontal disease, risk factors.
doi:10.4317/medoral.17848
PMCID: PMC3476017  PMID: 22173486
16.  Intravascular ultrasound imaging of angiographically normal coronary arteries: a prospective study in vivo. 
British Heart Journal  1994;71(6):572-578.
Intravascular ultrasound imaging (IVUS) was performed to elucidate the discrepancy between clinical history and angiographic findings and to measure the diameter and area of the lumen of the normal left coronary artery in 55 patients who presented with chest pain but had normal coronary angiograms. The left coronary artery (LCA) was scanned with a 4.8F, 20 MHz mechanically rotated ultrasound catheter at 413 sites. Atherosclerotic lesions were identified at 72 (17%) sites in 25 patients. The mean (SD) (range) plaque area was 5.55 (3.56) mm2 (2-26 mm2) and it occupied 28.8 (9.6)% (13-70%) of the coronary cross sectional area. Calcification was detected at 24 (33%) atherosclerotic sites in nine patients. The correlation coefficients for the lumen dimensions measured at normal sites by IVUS and by angiography were r = 0.93 (SEE = 0.43) mm for lumen diameter and r = 0.89 (SEE = 4.27) mm2 for lumen area (both p < 0.001). 16 of the 30 patients in whom no atherosclerotic plaques were detected in the LCA lumen by IVUS had no risk factors of coronary artery disease. The cross sectional area of 90 consecutive images of left main coronary artery (LMCA), proximal left anterior descending coronary artery (proximal LAD), and mid LAD was measured in these 16 subjects. The mean (SEM) areas at end diastole were LMCA 17.33 (7.98) mm2; proximal LAD 13.56 (5.85) mm2; mid LAD 9.75 (4.67) mm2. During the cardiac cycle the cross sectional area changed by 10.2 (4.0)% in the LMCA, by 8.3 (4.7)% in the proximal LAD, and by 9.8 (4.0)% in the mid LAD. In 11 patients with plagues the change in cross sectional area in plague segments (5.8(3.1)%) was significantly lower than in the segments from patients without plagues (p < 0.001). Lumen area reached a maximum in early diastole rather than in late diastole. IVUS can imagine atherosclerotic lesions that are angiographically silent; it also provides detailed information about plague characteristics. The variation in coronary cross sectional area during the cardiac cycle should not be ignored during quantitative analysis. Maximum dimensions in normal segments are reached in early diastole. Further studies are needed to clarify the clinical significance of atherosclerosis detected by IVUS in patients presenting with chest pain but normal coronary angiography.
Images
PMCID: PMC1025457  PMID: 8043342
17.  Renal Artery Stenosis and Its Predictors in Hypertensive Patients Undergoing Coronary Artery Angiography 
Iranian Journal of Radiology  2011;8(4):235-240.
Background
Renal artery stenosis (RAS) has been increasingly recognized in the recent years, especially in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). RAS affects the patients with hypertension (HTN), but the exact prevalence is not known.
Objectives
This study was performed to determine the prevalence and to identify the predictors of RAS in hypertensive patients undergoing coronary artery angiography.
Patients and Methods
In a cross-sectional study from August 2008 to August 2009, 481 patients with HTN and suspected CAD underwent selective coronary and renal angiography for screening and predicting RAS. RAS was defined as a higher than 50% stenosis in the renal artery lumen. Multivariate analysis of factors associated with the presence of RAS were examined using a logistic regression model.
Results
The mean ± standard deviation of age was 59.25 ± 10.81 years and 50.3% were men. According to angiographic data, 425 patients (88.4%) had CAD, while 56 (11.6%) had normal coronary arteries. RAS was seen in 94 (22%) patients with CAD. The multivariate logistic regression analysis identified only age (P < 0.001) and the number of significant coronary lesions (P < 0.001) as independent predictors of RAS. Gender, smoking, congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus (DM), hyperlipidemia (HLP) and body mass index (BMI) were not independent predictors.
Conclusions
This study suggests that in the management of patients with RAS, risk factors should most likely be considered as beneficial. In addition, the clinical and angiographic features are helpful in predicting its presence in elderly patients with CAD.
doi:10.5812/iranjradiol.4553
PMCID: PMC3522365  PMID: 23329947
Renal Artery Obstruction; Coronary Artery Disease; Hypertension; Angiography
18.  Multidetector Computed Tomography for Coronary Artery Disease Screening in Asymptomatic Populations 
Executive Summary
Objective
This evidence-based health technology assessment systematically reviewed the published literature on multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) angiography (with contrast) as a diagnostic tool for coronary artery disease (CAD), and applied the results of the assessment to health care practices in Ontario.
Clinical Need
Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the western world. Occlusion of coronary arteries reduces coronary blood flow and oxygen delivery to the myocardium (heart muscle). The rupture of an unstable atherosclerotic plaque may result in myocardial infarction. If left untreated, CAD can result in heart failure and, subsequently, death. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, 54% of all cardiovascular deaths are due to CAD. Patient characteristics (e.g., age, sex, and genetics), underlying clinical conditions that predispose to cardiac conditions (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol), lifestyle characteristics, (e.g., obesity, smoking, and physical inactivity), and, more recently, determinants of health (e.g., socioeconomic status) may predict the risk of getting CAD.
In 2004/2005, The Ontario government funded approximately 15,400 percutaneous (through the skin) coronary interventions and 7,840 coronary bypass procedures for the treatment of CAD. These numbers are expected to reach 22,355 for percutaneous coronary interventions and 12,323 for coronary bypass procedures in 2006/2007. It was noted that more than one-half of all first coronary events occur in people without symptoms of CAD. In Ontario in 2000/2001, $457.9 million (Cdn) was spent on invasive ($237.4 million) and noninvasive ($220.5 million) cardiac services. The use of noninvasive cardiac tests, in particular, is rising rapidly.
The Technology
Computed tomography (CT) is a medical imaging method employing tomography where digital geometry processing is used to generate a 3-dimensional image of the internals of an object from a large series of 2-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation. Multidetector computed tomography is performed for noninvasive imaging of the coronary arteries. Computer software quantifies the amount of calcium within the coronary arteries and calculates a coronary artery calcium score.
Compared with conventional CT scanning, MDCT can provide smaller pieces of information and cover a larger area faster. Advanced MDCT technology (that is, 8-, 16-, 32-, and 64-slice systems) can produce more images in less time. For general CT scanning, this faster capability can reduce the length of time people are required to be still during the procedure and thereby reduce potential movement artifact. However, the additional clinical utility of images obtained from faster scanners compared with the images obtained from conventional CT scanners for current CT indications (i.e., nonmoving body parts) is unknown.
Review Strategy
The Medical Advisory Secretariat completed a computer-aided search limited to English-language studies in humans from 1998 to 2007 in multiple medical literature databases, including MEDLINE, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, and INAHTA/CRD. Case reports, letters, editorials, nonsystematic reviews, and comments were excluded. Additional studies that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria were obtained from reference lists of included studies. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied to the results according to the criteria listed below.
The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system was used to evaluate the overall quality of the body of evidence (defined as 1 or more studies) supporting the research questions explored in this systematic review.
Summary of Findings and Conclusions
Screening the asymptomatic population for CAD using MDCT does not meet World Health Organization criteria for screening; hence, it is not justifiable. Coronary artery calcification measured by MDCT is a good predictor of future cardiovascular events. However, MDCT exhibits only moderately high sensitivity and specificity for detection of CAD in an asymptomatic population. If population-based screening were implemented, a high rate of false positives would result in increased downstream costs and interventions. Additionally, some cases of CAD would be missed, as they may not be developed, or not yet have progressed to detectable levels. There is no evidence for the impact of screening on patient management. Cardiovascular risk factors are positively associated with the presence of coronary artery calcification and cardiovascular events; however, risk factor stratification to identify high-risk asymptomatic individuals is unclear given the current evidence-base.
Safety of MDCT screening is also an issue because of the introduction of increased radiation doses for the initial screening scan and possible follow-up interventions.
No large randomized controlled trials of MDCT screening have been published, which indicates an important area of future research.
Lastly, the policy implications for MDCT screening for CAD in the asymptomatic population are significant. There is no evidence on the long-term implications of screening, and the potential impact on the resources of the health care system is considerable.
PMCID: PMC3377586  PMID: 23074503
19.  Circulating Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 Is Associated with Angiographic Severity and Extent of Coronary Artery Disease 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e72545.
Objective
Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) is a circulating regulator of phosphate and vitamin D metabolism and is associated with coronary artery calcification, and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to determine whether circulating FGF23 concentration is independently associated with the severity and extent of coronary artery disease in patients undergoing coronary angiography.
Method
A cross-sectional design was used to examine the relationship between serum FGF23 and the severity and extent of coronary artery stenosis in 2076 patients undergoing coronary angiography (1263 male and 813 female, mean aged 62.5 years). Subgroup analyses were performed to assess the associations between FGF23 and coronary arterial plaque characteristics evaluated by intravascular ultrasound and 12-month incidence of target vessel revascularization (TVR) and target lesion revascularization (TLR).
Findings
We found a stepwise increase of serum FGF23 concentrations in patients with mild, moderate, severe stenosis or with increased number of stenotic vessels compared with those without stenosis (P<0.001). Serum FGF23 concentration was positively correlated with stenosis scores as the global index of the severity and extent of coronary artery stenosis in both male and female (r = 0.315 and r = 0.291, P<0.001). In multiple regression analyses, serum FGF23 concentration was a significant determinant of the stenosis scores independent of other traditional risk factors (standardized β = 0.326, P<0.001). Furthermore, subgroup analyses found FGF23 was significantly associated with plaque and dense calcium volumes. Multiple logistic regression analyses showed that serum FGF23 levels were significantly independent predictors of TVR and TLR.
Conclusions
We report an independent association between circulating FGF23 concentration and the severity and extent of coronary artery stenosis in the coronary angiographic patients. Future studies are needed to elucidate the potential biological mechanisms and whether FGF23 is a modifiable cardiovascular risk factor.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072545
PMCID: PMC3755980  PMID: 24015259
20.  The Relation Between Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) and Coronary Artery Disease Severity and Risk Factors: An Angiographic Study 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2011;7(2):68-73.
BACKGROUND
The current study aims to determine the relation between ankle–brachial index (ABI) and angiographic findings and major cardiovascular risk factors in patients with suspected coronary artery diseases (CAD) in Isfahan.
METHODS
In this cross-sectional descriptive-analytic research, patients with suspected CAD were studied. Characteristics of studied subjects including demographics, familial history, past medical history and atherosclerotic risk factors such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and smoking were obtained using a standard questionnaire. ABI was measured in all studied patients. ABI≤0.9 (ABI+) was considered as peripheral vessel disease and ABI>0.9 (ABI-) was considered as normal. Then, all studied patients underwent coronary artery angiography. The results of the questionnaire and angiographic findings were compared in ABI+ and ABI- groups. Data were analyzed by SPSS 15 using ANOVA, t-test, Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, and discriminant analysis.
RESULTS
In this study, 125 patients were investigated. ABI≤0.9 was seen in 25 patients (20%). The prevalence of ABI+ among men and women was 25.9% and 7.5%, respectively (P=0.01). The prevalence of atherosclerotic risk factors was significantly higher in ABI+ patients than in ABI- ones (P<0.05). ABI+ patients had more significant stenosis than ABI- ones. The mean of occlusion was significantly higher in ABI+ patients with left main artery (LMA), right coronary artery (RCA), left anterior descending artery (LAD), diagonal artery 1 (D1) and left circumflex artery (LCX) involvements (P<0.05).
CONCLUSION
The findings of this research indicated that ABI could be a useful method in assessing both the atherosclerotic risk factors and the degree of coronary involvements in suspected patients. However, in order to make more accurate decisions for using this method in diagnosing and preventing CAD, we should plan further studies in large sample sizes of general population.
PMCID: PMC3347847  PMID: 22577449
Ankle–Brachial Index; Angiography; Atherosclerotic Risk Factors.
21.  Multi-Detector Computed Tomography Angiography for Coronary Artery Disease 
Executive Summary
Purpose
Computed tomography (CT) scanning continues to be an important modality for the diagnosis of injury and disease, most notably for indications of the head and abdomen. (1) According to a recent report published by the Canadian Institutes of Health Information, (1) there were about 10.3 scanners per million people in Canada as of January 2004. Ontario had the fewest number of CT scanners per million compared to the other provinces (8 CT scanners per million). The wait time for CT in Ontario of 5 weeks approaches the Canadian median of 6 weeks.
This health technology and policy appraisal systematically reviews the published literature on multidetector CT (MDCT) angiography as a diagnostic tool for the newest indication for CT, coronary artery disease (CAD), and will apply the results of the review to current health care practices in Ontario. This review does not evaluate MDCT to detect coronary calcification without contrast medium for CAD screening purposes.
The Technology
Compared with conventional CT scanning, MDCT can provide smaller pieces of information and can cover a larger area faster. (2) Advancing MDCT technology (8, 16, 32, 64 slice systems) is capable of producing more images in less time. For general CT scanning, this faster capability can reduce the time that patients must stay still during the procedure, thereby reducing potential movement artefact. However, the additional clinical utility of images obtained from faster scanners compared to the images obtained from conventional CT scanners for current CT indications (i.e., non-moving body parts) is not known.
There are suggestions that the new fast scanners can reduce wait times for general CT. MDCT angiography that utilizes a contrast medium, has been proposed as a minimally invasive replacement to coronary angiography to detect coronary artery disease. MDCT may take between 15 to 45 minutes; coronary angiography may take up to 1 hour.
Although 16-slice and 32-slice CT scanners have been available for a few years, 64-slice CT scanners were released only at the end of 2004.
Review Strategy
There are many proven, evidence-based indications for conventional CT. It is not clear how MDCT will add to the clinical utility and management of patients for established CT indications. Therefore, because cardiac imaging, specifically MDCT angiography, is a new indication for CT, this literature review focused on the safety, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of MDCT angiography compared with coronary angiography in the diagnosis and management of people with CAD.
This review asked the following questions:
Is the most recent MDCT angiography effective in the imaging of the coronary arteries compared with conventional angiography to correctly diagnose of significant (> 50% lumen reduction) CAD?
What is the utility of MDCT angiography in the management and treatment of patients with CAD?
How does MDCT angiography in the management and treatment of patients with CAD affect longterm outcomes?
The published literature from January 2003 to January 31, 2005 was searched for articles that focused on the detection of coronary artery disease using 16-slice CT or faster, compared with coronary angiography. The search yielded 138 articles; however, 125 were excluded because they did not meet the inclusion criteria (comparison with coronary angiography, diagnostic accuracy measures calculated, and a sample size of 20 or more). As screening for CAD is not advised, studies that utilized MDCT for this purpose or studies that utilized MDCT without contrast media were also excluded. Overall, 13 studies were included in this review.
Summary of Findings
The published literature focused on 16-slice CT angiography for the detection of CAD. Two abstracts that were presented at the 2005 European Congress of Radiology meeting in Vienna compared 64-slice CT angiography with coronary angiography.
The 13 studies focussing on 16-slice CT angiography were stratified into 2 groups: Group 1 included 9 studies that focused on the detection of CAD in symptomatic patients, and Group 2 included 4 studies that examined the use of 16-slice CT angiography to detect disease progression after cardiac interventions. The 2 abstracts on 64-slice CT angiography were presented separately, but were not critically appraised due to the lack of information provided in the abstracts.
16-Slice Computed Tomography Angiography
The STARD initiative to evaluate the reporting quality of studies that focus on diagnostic tests was used. Overall the studies were relatively small (fewer than 100 people), and only about one-half recruited consecutive patients. Most studies reported inclusion criteria, but 5 did not report exclusion criteria. In these 5, the patients were highly selected; therefore, how representative they are of the general population of people with suspicion if CAD or those with disease progression after cardiac intervention is questionable. In most studies, patients were either already taking, or were given, β-blockers to reduce their heart rates to improve image quality sufficiently. Only 6 of the 13 studies reported interobserver reliability quantitatively. The studies typically assessed the quality of the images obtained from 16-slice CT angiography, excluded those of poor quality, and compared the rest with the gold standard, coronary angiography. This practice necessarily inflated the diagnostic accuracy measures. Only 3 studies reported confidence intervals around their measures.
Evaluation of the studies in Group 1 reported variable sensitivity, from just over 60% to 96%, but a more stable specificity, at more than 95%. The false positive rate ranged from 5% to 8%, but the false negative rate was at best under 10% and at worst about 30%. This means that up to one-third of patients who have disease may be missed. These patients may therefore progress to a more severe level of disease and require more invasive procedures. The calculated positive and negative likelihood ratios across the studies suggested that 16-slice CT angiography may be useful to detect disease, but it is not useful to rule out disease. The prevalence of disease, measured by conventional coronoary angiography, was from 50% to 80% across the studies in this review. Overall, 16-slice CT angiography may be useful, but there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that it is equivalent to or better than coronary angiography to detect CAD in symptomatic patients.
In the 4 studies in Group 2, sensitivity and specificity were both reported at more than 95% (except for 1 that reported sensitivity of about 80%). The positive and negative likelihood ratios suggested that the test might be useful to detect disease progression in patients who had cardiac interventions. However, 2 of the 4 studies recruited patients who had been asymptomatic since their intervention. As many of the patients studied were not symptomatic, the relevance of performing MDCT angiography in the patient population may be in question.
64-Slice Computed Tomography Angiography
An analysis from the interim results based on 2 abstracts revealed that 64-slice CT angiography was insufficient compared to coronary angiography and may not be better than 16-slice CT angiography to detect CAD.
Conclusions
Cardiac imaging is a relatively new indication for CT. A systematic review of the literature was performed from 2003 to January 2005 to determine the effectiveness of MDCT angiography (16-slice and 64-slice) compared to coronary angiography to detect CAD. At the time of this report, there was no published literature on 64-slice CT for any indications.
Based on this review, the Medical Advisory Secretariat concluded that there is insufficient evidence to suggest that 16-slice or 64-slice CT angiography is equal to or better than coronary angiography to diagnose CAD in people with symptoms or to detect disease progression in patients who had previous cardiac interventions. An analysis of the evidence suggested that in investigating suspicion of CAD, a substantial number of patients would be missed. This means that these people would not be appropriately treated. These patients might progress to more severe disease and possibly more adverse events. Overall, the clinical utility of MDCT in patient management and long-term outcomes is unknown.
Based on the current evidence, it is unlikely that CT angiography will replace coronary angiography completely, but will probably be used adjunctively with other cardiac diagnostic tests until more definitive evidence is published.
If multi-slice CT scanners are used for coronary angiography in Ontario, access to the current compliment of CT scanners will necessarily increase wait times for general CT scanning. It is unlikely that these newer-generation scanners will improve patient throughput, despite the claim that they are faster.
Screening for CAD in asymptomatic patients and who have no history of ischemic heart disease using any modality is not advised, based on the World Health Organization criteria for screening. Therefore, this review did not examine the use of multi-slice CT for this purpose.
PMCID: PMC3382628  PMID: 23074474
22.  Increased prevalence of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis detected by coronary computed tomography angiography in HIV-infected men 
AIDS (London, England)  2010;24(2):243-253.
Objective
The degree of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis in HIV-infected patients is unknown. We investigated the degree of subclinical atherosclerosis and the relationship of traditional and nontraditional risk factors to early atherosclerotic disease using coronary computed tomography angiography.
Design and methods
Seventy-eight HIV-infected men (age 46.5 ± 6.5 years and duration of HIV 13.5 ± 6.1 years, CD4 T lymphocytes 523 ± 282; 81% undetectable viral load), and 32 HIV-negative men (age 45.4 ± 7.2 years) with similar demographic and coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors, without history or symptoms of CAD, were prospectively recruited. 64-slice multidetector row computed tomography coronary angiography was performed to determine prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis, coronary stenosis, and quantitative plaque burden.
Results
HIV-infected men demonstrated higher prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis than non-HIV-infected men (59 vs. 34%; P = 0.02), higher coronary plaque volume [55.9 (0–207.7); median (IQR) vs. 0 (0–80.5) μl; P = 0.02], greater number of coronary segments with plaque [1 (0–3) vs. 0 (0–1) segments; P = 0.03], and higher prevalence of Agatston calcium score more than 0 (46 vs. 25%, P = 0.04), despite similar Framingham 10-year risk for myocardial infarction, family history of CAD, and smoking status. Among HIV-infected patients, Framingham score, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, CD4/CD8 ratio, and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 were significantly associated with plaque burden. Duration of HIV infection was significantly associated with plaque volume (P = 0.002) and segments with plaque (P = 0.0009) and these relationships remained significant after adjustment for age, traditional risk factors, or duration of antiretroviral therapy. A total of 6.5% (95% confidence interval 2–15%) of our study population demonstrated angiographic evidence of obstructive CAD (>70% luminal narrowing) as compared with 0% in controls.
Conclusion
Young, asymptomatic, HIV-infected men with long-standing HIV disease demonstrate an increased prevalence and degree of coronary atherosclerosis compared with non-HIV-infected patients. Both traditional and nontraditional risk factors contribute to atherosclerotic disease in HIV-infected patients.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e328333ea9e
PMCID: PMC3154841  PMID: 19996940
atherosclerosis; cardiovascular risk factors; coronary artery disease; coronary computed tomography angiography; HIV
23.  The effect of periodontal therapy on C-reactive protein, endothelial function, lipids and proinflammatory biomarkers in patients with stable coronary artery disease: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2013;14:283.
Background
Scarce information exists regarding the preventive effect of periodontal treatment in the recurrence of cardiovascular events. Prevention may be achieved by targeting risk factors for recurrent coronary artery disease (CAD) in patients with previous history of cardiovascular events. The aim of this trial is to compare the effect of two periodontal treatment approaches on levels of C-reactive protein, lipids, flow-mediated dilation and serum concentrations of proinflammatory and endothelial markers in stable CAD patients with periodontitis over a period of 12 months.
Methods/design
This is a randomized, parallel design, examiner blinded, controlled clinical trial. Individuals from both genders, 35 years of age and older, with concomitant diagnosis of CAD and periodontitis will be included. CAD will be defined as the occurrence of at least one of the following events 6 months prior to entering the trial: documented history of myocardial infarction; surgical or percutaneous myocardial revascularization and lesion >50% in at least one coronary artery assessed by angiography; presence of angina and positive noninvasive testing of ischemia. Diagnosis of periodontitis will be defined using the CDC-AAP case definition (≥2 interproximal sites with clinical attachment loss ≥6 mm and ≥1 interproximal site with probing depth ≥5 mm). Individuals will have to present at least ten teeth present to be included. One hundred individuals will be allocated to test (intensive periodontal treatment comprised by scaling and root planing) or control (community periodontal treatment consisting of one session of supragingival plaque removal only) treatment groups. Full-mouth six sites per tooth periodontal examinations and subgingival biofilm samples will be conducted at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment. The primary outcome of this study will be C-reactive protein changes over time. Secondary outcomes include levels of total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, triglycerides, IL-1β, IL-6, TNFα, fibrinogen, ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and E-selectin. These outcomes will be assessed at all time points over 12 months. Flow-mediated dilation will be assessed at baseline, 1, 3 and 6 months after periodontal therapy.
Discussion
This trial will provide new evidence regarding the effect of periodontal treatment on risk markers for recurrence of cardiovascular events in stable coronary artery disease patients.
Trial registration number
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier, NCT01609725
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-283
PMCID: PMC3844458  PMID: 24010954
Periodontal diseases; Cardiovascular diseases; C-reactive protein; Non-surgical periodontal therapy; Coronary artery disease; Randomized controlled trial; Endothelial function; Lipids
24.  All-cause mortality benefit of coronary revascularization vs. medical therapy in patients without known coronary artery disease undergoing coronary computed tomographic angiography: results from CONFIRM (COronary CT Angiography EvaluatioN For Clinical Outcomes: An InteRnational Multicenter Registry) 
European Heart Journal  2012;33(24):3088-3097.
Aims
To date, the therapeutic benefit of revascularization vs. medical therapy for stable individuals undergoing invasive coronary angiography (ICA) based upon coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) findings has not been examined.
Methods and results
We examined 15 223 patients without known coronary artery disease (CAD) undergoing CCTA from eight sites and six countries who were followed for median 2.1 years (interquartile range 1.4–3.3 years) for an endpoint of all-cause mortality. Obstructive CAD by CCTA was defined as a ≥50% luminal diameter stenosis in a major coronary artery. Patients were categorized as having high-risk CAD vs. non-high-risk CAD, with the former including patients with at least obstructive two-vessel CAD with proximal left anterior descending artery involvement, three-vessel CAD, and left main CAD. Death occurred in 185 (1.2%) patients. Patients were categorized into two treatment groups: revascularization (n = 1103; 2.2% mortality) and medical therapy (n = 14 120, 1.1% mortality). To account for non-randomized referral to revascularization, we created a propensity score developed by logistic regression to identify variables that influenced the decision to refer to revascularization. Within this model (C index 0.92, χ2 = 1248, P < 0.0001), obstructive CAD was the most influential factor for referral, followed by an interaction of obstructive CAD with pre-test likelihood of CAD (P = 0.0344). Within CCTA CAD groups, rates of revascularization increased from 3.8% for non-high-risk CAD to 51.2% high-risk CAD. In multivariable models, when compared with medical therapy, revascularization was associated with a survival advantage for patients with high-risk CAD [hazards ratio (HR) 0.38, 95% confidence interval 0.18–0.83], with no difference in survival for patients with non-high-risk CAD (HR 3.24, 95% CI 0.76–13.89) (P-value for interaction = 0.03).
Conclusion
In an intermediate-term follow-up, coronary revascularization is associated with a survival benefit in patients with high-risk CAD by CCTA, with no apparent benefit of revascularization in patients with lesser forms of CAD.
doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehs315
PMCID: PMC3598430  PMID: 23048194
Computed tomography; Coronary revascularization; Medical therapy; Coronary artery disease
25.  Quantitative angiography in South Asians reveals differences in vessel size and coronary artery disease severity compared to Caucasians 
South Asians are one of the highest risk ethnic groups for development of coronary artery disease (CAD) mortality and morbidity. Previous studies have investigated whether South Asians exhibit differences in angiographic coronary artery disease compared to Caucasians, with inconsistent results. We conducted a retrospective observational study comparing South Asians undergoing cardiac catheterization at a tertiary care institution with Caucasians who underwent catheterization at the same time and location to assess whether South Asians demonstrated smaller coronary artery size and/or increased angiographic coronary artery disease. Demographic and laboratory data were retrospectively abstracted. Quantitative coronary angiographic analysis of all three coronary arteries was performed using the edge-detection method. South Asian patients were younger (57 versus 64 years, p=0.004) and showed higher prevalences of diabetes, dyslipidemia, and acute coronary syndrome compared with Caucasians (40% versus 16%, p=0.004; 65% versus 46%, p=0.04; and 37% versus 10%, p<0.001; respectively). South Asians exhibited smaller normalized proximal LAD luminal diameters (1.56 versus 1.72 mm/m2, p=0.04) when compared to Caucasians. South Asians also displayed more severe CAD as determined by both increased mean percent stenosis in the proximal LAD and RCA segments (22.7% versus 11.1%, p=0.004; and 24.5% versus 13.9%, p=0.0001, respectively) as well as a higher number of patients with multiple diseased vessel segments. South Asians demonstrated more severe CAD compared to Caucasians undergoing cardiac catheterization as evidenced by smaller proximal LAD luminal diameters, higher mean percent stenosis per vessel, and more patients with multivessel disease. Further study is warranted to better define factors important in the development of CAD and inform risk stratification in this high-risk population.
PMCID: PMC3253512  PMID: 22254183
Coronary artery disease; South Asian; quantitative coronary angiography

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